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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #120 on: November 18, 2014, 12:26:58 pm »
Awesome Andrew  :thumleft:


I just cannot even comprehend the speed you guys do in that thick sand... just watching it I was getting anxious.


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Offline bud500

Re:
« Reply #121 on: November 18, 2014, 01:19:11 pm »

Anybody know how old the oldest competitor was (is?)?

At the risk of getting a talking to from the Uncle, I would guess Kevin Thompson must have been up there in the age stakes... He is an Amageza veteran, bike nut and a real gentleman. Oh and also a Wilddog.
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Offline LoopSoosStroop

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Re:
« Reply #122 on: November 18, 2014, 02:03:29 pm »
At the risk of getting a talking to from the Uncle, I would guess Kevin Thompson must have been up there in the age stakes... He is an Amageza veteran, bike nut and a real gentleman. Oh and also a Wilddog.

Yep, he is 58. Great guy.
 

Offline Crossed-up

Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #123 on: November 18, 2014, 02:14:37 pm »
If Kevin finishes next year he'll beat my record as the oldest finisher. But I only rode the first one which was a piddling affair compared to the 3 which followed. He's an absolute legend in my book, and I'll be cheering him on.
 

Offline bonova

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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #124 on: November 18, 2014, 03:30:56 pm »
awesome pic of you putting it in sideways

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Offline Kevin_ZA

Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #125 on: November 19, 2014, 04:20:11 pm »
If Kevin finishes next year he'll beat my record as the oldest finisher. But I only rode the first one which was a piddling affair compared to the 3 which followed. He's an absolute legend in my book, and I'll be cheering him on.
Thanks guys but it's really not worthy of a mention. It's actualy a bit embarrassing. By now I should be much better.
Andrew - sorry for hijacking your RR.
Awesome RR ....keep it coming. That Super Duke motor sounds fantastic.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 09:02:21 pm by Kevin_ZA »
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Offline Kamanya

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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #126 on: November 19, 2014, 06:45:42 pm »
A word on Dampers on big KTM’s;

For years I’ve spouted off to those that will listen that I’ve never felt the need for a damper. So let me change feet here.

I have hand issues – carpal tunnel - and as Alex had said this Amageza would entail many kilometres of sand, I did two things;

1.   Went to a hand specialist and had him inject me with a cortisone. It worked brilliantly on the ride, just the drive home from Worcester was, um, interesting. I couldn’t feel my hands at all for a good 12 hours. But on the race no pain or numbness.

2.   Borrowed a steering damper from Frijan.


I didn’t know if it would help my hands by reducing or damping the violent stuff that previously I didn’t really worry about, but I was willing to try anything.

The damper that I borrowed was not completely ok and only really tightened up with the last 6 or 7 clicks. Something that I am told happens when they need a service. On full hard it seemed pretty fierce to my non damping experience. On this first stage I had set it about halfway in terms of feel. Once we hit that really squirrely red stuff, I turned it up way hard.

I can now see the difference. It doesn’t do much to the front but does keep the back from flopping around too much. But even more, it allowed me to “rest” my hands and not have to hold on so tight. If you watch the video the bike still bucks about but the rear has far less freedom and those terrible crashes where the bike swaps a few times before you see your arse seem a little further away.

It doesn’t make much difference on sand below about 40, but once up to really mega speeds, it comes into its own.

On squirrelly gravel at very high speed it calms things down and adds a touch of confidence to the story.

Everywhere else I rode with it off. If I rode with it on in most other situations I felt it pushing my line a bit wide.

If you’re hoping that it will help your sand riding skills if you have none or little, I am afraid you may be disappointed. If you want to barrel along and be a little more rested at the end then they are the ticket.

A huge thanks to Frijan and sorry to those who may have taken my advice before.

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« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 08:54:47 pm by Kamanya »
I wonder where that gravel road goes? And that, has usually made all the difference. (Apologies to Mr Frost)

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Offline Sláinte Mhaith

Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #127 on: November 19, 2014, 11:12:21 pm »
The damper that I borrowed was not completely ok and only really tightened up with the last 6 or 7 clicks. Something that I am told happens when they need a service. On full hard it seemed pretty fierce to my non damping experience. On this first stage I had set it about halfway in terms of feel. Once we hit that really squirrely red stuff, I turned it up way hard.

Mine also give lotsa resistance at the last two clicks and it did so since new.
As I understand there are also some other settings where the damping rate change relative to the speed of the handlebar jerk/shudder.
 

Offline THROTTLE JOCKEY

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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #128 on: November 20, 2014, 12:46:25 pm »
Check attached document of scotts settings some of these few people know of. PG 11 can help a lot
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Offline Kamanya

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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #129 on: November 20, 2014, 06:54:58 pm »
I wonder how many okes know about that. thanks!
I wonder where that gravel road goes? And that, has usually made all the difference. (Apologies to Mr Frost)

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Offline Mooch

Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #130 on: November 20, 2014, 09:34:58 pm »
Check attached document of scotts settings some of these few people know of. PG 11 can help a lot

Interesting.... Thanks for sharing.  :thumleft:
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Offline THROTTLE JOCKEY

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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #131 on: November 21, 2014, 08:27:55 am »
yes the beauty of those settings is you can get zero damping in the middle but when a headshake takes place it dampens on the sides so under normal riding there is no feel of damping. Used that setting all the time on the mx track. You never feel the damper even though its working

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Offline Kamanya

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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #132 on: November 23, 2014, 03:36:15 pm »
Some things on stage 1 that I had forgotten;


There was a part of the course where I was not far behind two guys. At that moment the gyrocopter was above and I was thinking, “really, just don’t bin it now!” Instead of watching the navigation. I think the other two must have also been distracted as we went for a k or two down the wrong track. That little spike to the left was the bit.



It was fortuitous as the gyro got some shots too of the mistake;





A quick conflab to sort the issue out. Clearly we weren't the first to do some sightseeing.


On reflection now, I think if the weather hadn’t played along, there would have been many more guys stuck out there. Heat and dryness can make sand really tough.

Some shots that I’ve stolen from all over;








« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 07:20:41 am by Kamanya »
I wonder where that gravel road goes? And that, has usually made all the difference. (Apologies to Mr Frost)

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Offline JustBendIt

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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #133 on: November 24, 2014, 05:10:03 am »
stunning amazing aerial photos !!!!
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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #134 on: November 24, 2014, 06:01:57 am »
Check attached document of scotts settings some of these few people know of. PG 11 can help a lot

I still believe a damper is one of the best things you can spend money on on a bike - once you have experienced it save your ass once you will understand. Further to the above high speed valve setting capability (and this is where the Scotts/Ohlins units have the advantage as they are the only ones with this feature) one should really also look at the setting of the sweep valves. These are those two small screws on the side of the damper and set the breakaway angle so that in tight slow technical stuff there is no damping … and this also saves on the arm pump  ::) To get the most out of a damper one really needs to understand its workings, settings and service it. Recently I bought a second hand unit for a bike and the tower pin was virtually corroded solid in the tower … not sure how it even functioned? Maybe extra built in damping?!  ;D
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 09:20:37 am by BiG DoM »
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Offline Bazinga

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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #135 on: November 24, 2014, 01:49:56 pm »
Lekker Kamanya

Enjoying your report :ricky:
 

Offline adamktm

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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #136 on: November 24, 2014, 03:25:07 pm »
Nice RR, we will have to get a few more details and RR's at Doodle's with a few drinks!!!
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Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #137 on: November 24, 2014, 05:50:05 pm »
Thanks Andrew for an excellent RR, can't wait for the rest.
 

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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #138 on: November 24, 2014, 10:17:37 pm »
Andrew digging a trench about 60km from teh end of Day 3 special

So much of win it hurts! ^.^


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Offline Kamanya

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Re: Amageza 2014 with a Jagsding
« Reply #139 on: November 25, 2014, 10:03:09 pm »
Stage 2

ASKHAM TO KAKAMAS
4 November 2014
328km - Team Supported Race Stage
Liaison: 196km
Special: 132km



It had been a good evening, the morning seemed even better, the weather was still cool with cloud, an excellent thing!



Justin and I were into the swing of things now. I was ready, the banter was high and nothing seemed to be rushed. Breakfast was a quick affair. There was a last check, hands taped



The obligatory glitter ball zip tied on for luck in the dunes and of course to confuse following competitors – maybe they are like pigeons and will get scared by the reflecting rays from the sun…



Justin had taken over the motivational side of my race;



I’d overheard him saying to Robert the previous day when he was having another faf attack, “Robert, ROBERT! Look into my eyes! Listen, no-one likes a grumpy rider. Everyone loves a happy rider! Who knows who you are going to meet and grumpy is just not going  to cut it! DO YOU HEAR!”

I am not sure what motivational theory he was drawing his words from?

Because race control were having an issue with the satellite uplinks that were to be used to crunch the data every day so as to give us our finish times and thus start times for the next day, we were to start in the same order as the previous day. Pieter on 147 was again to be my partner. He’d had an issue with his ICO the previous day but had it fixed by the start.

The general idea is just wait by the start until Alex shouts out your number or keep asking the other guys their start times and slot in where applicable. It works quite well.







Rudi and Co.



Robert freshly motivated



Really, this thing is not slow!



The Pom, again in a queue





The quickest guys, Albert who is riding in this year’s Dakar





I had 38 litres in for the day. Justin would be waiting with 10 more after 240km. My setup doesn’t really like more than about 25, it makes a big difference to how it behaves.



The office



240k’s with about 120 of it thick sand is a bit of a thumb suck with regards to fuel. My bike becomes a fuel pig in thick sand; it’s the price I pay for trying to plough +300kg all up through sand. It didn’t help when right as Alex was about to let us go he says, “It’s freaking far, look after your fuel!”

Ahh well, what will be will be. Still 36 litres makes a huge difference to the feel of the bike. Imagine the Dakar guys of old, they had my type of bike and would be fuelled with close to 60 litres!



The liaison was a very pretty 80km through dry Kalahari bush and across a really big salt pan. There was no hint of dunes, yet, but I did spot a few camels?!!

Along the way a few guys ahead of us were traveling a little slowly. I triple checked the road book to make sure Pieter and I weren’t speeding. Of course we can’t talk to each other and all we could do was look at each other and shrug and pass. In my mind this was not a bad thing at all. The more guys behind me the less tracks I would have to ride in.

At the start of the special there were a heap of guys faffing around. Although we had a specific start time at the liaison, the organisers were not being picky about special stage start times. When you pitched, get in the queue and then go.

I jumped at the chance and was paired up with Kobus Potgieter. He’s a super quick chap riding a 690 factory rally replica. Hating him for being quick and having a factory bike is not easy as he is a super nice guy.

There was also no sense in trying to race him, he’s just too quick so off he went. I was surprised in that I could stay with him for the few bends. Again, my torque was telling out of the corners, but the 690’s just don’t slow down for them and that’s where I lose big time.

Although I didn’t notice it, we were running parallel to a huge dune. After 3 or 4 k’s the track turned abruptly and headed straight up it. Apparently, no one has yet managed to get up it in a 4x4. I'm not sure I believe that.

Us guys in the Cape are used to charging up reasonably big dunes that although not as high as this are much steeper. What makes riding in sand especially hard is when others have been there before you. Their tracks criss cross your intended route and screw with your mind. Fascinatingly, others’ tracks have less material effect on the chosen path as one would think, so the trick is momentum and be in a good gear to pull you up.

Fortunately, being in a good gear is a bit academic on a 990, it has horses to spare. I think looking at the video I’m in 3rd or 4th.

The dune was a bit of a non-event, as I suppose for most of the Cape guys it would be. But, what I wasn’t so prepared for was the cresting.









This was to be the story of the day. For some reason almost every crest had a S bend at the top?



Not sure why, but it sure does screw with the ride. It means having to tap off and muscle it through. Also the consistency of the sand on the crests was softer. This is not unusual, it has something to do with wind changes and the effect is that the wheel sits deeper in the sand and sucks speed and power.

What does cause havoc is my back tyre. I regularly get feedback from guys following me that riding in a 20cm trench is not much fun. Ahh well…. It’s a race!

For next 100km, it was an orgy of dunes. 216 to be exact.



I fell a few times, I got passed quite a bit. 450’s eat this stuff up. At one point I got a whole fence stuck in my rear and front simultaneously. Mr Leatherman sorted that out.





My first fall was the hardest of the whole race. In the middle of nowhere I was barrelling along and suddenly I see a guy on top of dune. Not sure what happened after that, but my kidneys took a smack. And strangest of all, it knocked my ear plugs out? Never had that happen. That fall left me a bit stiff for the next two days.

The grass clumps are a bit dangerous, they look soft but buck the front and are not good to get too closely acquainted with. I did a few times, you can see the effect on the video.

Ian and I rode through an off piste section. It was up a river bed. There is really very little that beats riding off piste picking lines through acacia trees and river rocks. It really feels a lot like skiing. Once out of the bed though, I was going slowly and hit a crop of big rocks that knocked me over. Some farmer in his bakkie was right there and really wanted to have an extended chat with me.

"Hello, how goes it?"

"You ok?"

"How was the race so far"

"Do you want a beer?"

If you are reading this Mt Farmer, sorry for not spending a few hours shooting the breeze.

 


Towards the end of the stage, we were sent along a really steep rocky track. At the bottom, I met up with a bunch of guys who’d pass me earlier. They were confused about the end of the stage. And were milling about.

What had happened was that, unlike yesterday, although the end of the stage is marked on the roadbook and has a waypoint but has no marshals or signs to say this is the end. IT is a bit confusing if you’ve not had it before and can cause one to doubt the roadbook if you are expecting a marshal and dancing girls.



Justin looked far more relieved to see me. After yesterday’s fiasco, I think he was looking to jump ship. All riders had to have a spare 10 litres at a marshal point about 20 k’s from the end of stage so that they would be able to make it to Kakamas another 120k’s away.

Riann, fresh as a daisy



The quick boys



Andy, finish line marshal. What every competitor loves to see!



I think the job of support is far harder on the nerves than for the rider. I was IN it. Justin was a very involved spectator and close participant in the whole event but I imagine that as a support crew, imagination is not a blessing. He, like me is also reasonably competitive so, though the race is with oneself, the marker with which to judge that is the other competitors.

Although we knew each other reasonably well, we were beginning to bond. It was really great to have someone there and knowing. Also competent and fun. We were working as a team…






He broke my musings by saying, “You’re more than an hour behind Riaan, what’s up with that! Right, get the hell going! And, this pig truck of yours is worse than a Landcruiser with this headwind, it’s going to bankrupt me!”



?!

I swear, support teams are a double edged sword!




I digested this support for the next 110k’s and so did all the rest of us.



So did he…



All in all, it was a good ride.

Next, Kakamas the last outpost and adoring children!
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 10:20:28 am by Kamanya »
I wonder where that gravel road goes? And that, has usually made all the difference. (Apologies to Mr Frost)

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